Alcohol Administration Increases Cocaine Craving But Not Cocaine Cue Attentional Bias

Katherine R. Marks, Erika Pike, William W. Stoops, Craig R. Rush

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Alcohol consumption is a known antecedent to cocaine relapse. Through associative conditioning, it is hypothesized that alcohol increases incentive motivation for cocaine and thus the salience of cocaine-related cues, which are important in maintaining drug-taking behavior. Cocaine-using individuals display a robust cocaine cue attentional bias as measured by fixation time during the visual probe task. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the influence of alcohol administration on cocaine cue attentional bias using eye-tracking technology to directly measure attentional allocation. Methods: Twenty current cocaine users completed a double-blind, placebo-controlled, within-subjects study that tested the effect of 3 doses of alcohol (0.00, 0.325, and 0.65 g/kg) on cocaine cue attentional bias using the visual probe task with eye-tracking technology. The participant-rated and physiological effects of alcohol were also assessed. Results: Participants displayed a robust cocaine cue attentional bias following both placebo and alcohol administration as measured by fixation time, but not response time. Alcohol administration did not influence cocaine cue attentional bias, but increased craving for cocaine in a dose-dependent manner. Alcohol produced prototypic psychomotor and participant-rated effects. Conclusions: Alcohol administration increases cocaine craving but not cocaine cue attentional bias. Alcohol-induced cocaine craving suggests that alcohol increases incentive motivation for cocaine but not the salience of cocaine-related cues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1823-1831
Number of pages9
JournalAlcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Volume39
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Research Society on Alcoholism.

Keywords

  • Alcohol
  • Attentional Bias
  • Cocaine
  • Eye Tracking
  • Visual Probe Task

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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